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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)

TITLE: Subliminal Messaging
By Brad Paulson


Damon entered the office of Angus Clark with the confidence of a symphony conductor entering a concert hall. As he walked toward Clark’s synthetic black desk, he was greeted with a scowl.

“You have exactly ten minutes to convince me why I should choose your cellular communication implant over the dozens of others I have already looked at.” Clark folded his arms and leaned back in his leather chair. The corners of Damon’s mouth curled with a hint of a smile, he was mildly amused. Clark appeared to be a man who lived up to his reputation, but tough guys were often easy to manipulate. He sat down, and studied Clark for a moment, he felt no since of urgency or intimidation. Damon would control this meeting.

“I assure you Mr. Clark you will not be sorry you took the time to meet with me, and I appreciate the fact that you feel you are in the dominate position here, but that will change in a moment. I can also assure you that I am not a salesman, but rather a businessman, every bit as bloodthirsty and ruthless as you are.”

“Is this some kind of joke? If you would like me to drag you out of here by your throat you are heading in the right direction.” Clark’s face began to redden.

Damon’s eyes scanned his surroundings. The room was saturated with testosterone; martial arts trophies, pictures of Clark shaking hands with professional athletes and politicians, a collection of antique military firearms, and the mounted heads of a number of exotic animals Damon didn’t recognize.

“You don’t intimidate me Mr. Clark, but I do like your style. In fact that is why I have chosen Clark Technologies to join with me in a partnership.”

“A partnership? I do not enter into partnerships, I devour them. Furthermore, I suggest you get to the purpose of your visit before your time runs out.” Clark picked up a metal object from his desk that resembled a human skull. Damon wasn’t sure what it was, but Clark began to squeeze it, as if trying to crush it. He had never met a man who relieved stress by trying to crush a skull.

“Very well,” said Damon. “What you need to understand is that the technology I am proposing is unlike anything you have seen or even imagined. From a hardware standpoint we have the same gadgetry as every other high quality cellular phone implant; voice recognition and activation, infinite-life protein collection batteries, automatic satellite selection, white blood cell resistance and every other technological innovation there is. The real difference is application. In June of 2112, I assembled a small team of the world’s leading behavior psychologists. For the past five years they been helping me develop a method of communication that I refer to as subliminal messaging. I won’t bore you with the details, but imagine not only producing the world’s most popular cell implant, but also communicating with your customers at a subconscious level, messages that you and I choose. Encouraging people to buy certain products and invest in particular stocks and bonds, perhaps even tell them who to vote for.”

“This is ridiculous; I don’t have time to listen to the ramblings of a lunatic. This meeting is over.”

“What if I told you that I was here a week ago and offered your secretary a complimentary implant that she willingly accepted, and in the next thirty seconds she will enter this office, give me a glass of cabernet, kiss me on the cheek and return to her desk completely unaware of what she has just done?”

“Get out!”

Damon remained in his seat as the office door opened and Clark’s secretary entered with a glass of red wine. She handed the glass to Damon, kissed him on the cheek and returned to her desk, closing the door behind her. A satisfied grin appeared on Damon’s face as the skull in Clark’s hand hit the floor.

“Are you beginning to see the potential of such technology? While people are letting their conscience be their guide, we can be guiding their conscience. People often think they are led by a ‘holy spirit’. How would you like to become an un-holy spirit?”

“It would be like playing God,” said Clark as an evil grin slithered across his face.

“Who said anything about playing?” said Damon.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter05/18/07
Chilling. Great name choice! And I loved the ending. In the technical bit in the middle it nearly lost me (that long paragraph), but that's partly because I read fast and often can't be bothered with technical details. Good piece.
Sara Harricharan 05/21/07
Scary thought. Wow. This is both great and terrifying at the same time. Interesting descriptions and very well written. I enjoyed the read. ^_^
Benjamin Graber05/21/07
I could see this becoming a scary reality someday. I'm glad that God is in control of whatever happens in the future!